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Innoson: We don’t need warrant to arrest anybody – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said its operatives can arrest individuals without a warrant of arrest.

The EFCC Director of Legal and Prosecution, Chilo Okoroma, told members of the Senate committee on anti-corruption that the commission is empowered to arrest, ”with or without a warrant.”

The committee was mandated by the whole house to investigate the arrest of the Chairman of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, by the EFCC.

The committee restricted its probe to the circumstances that surrounded the arrest of Mr. Innocent as other matters are currently before the court of law.

“We can arrest a person with or without a warrant. And the matter for which we have invited him for, the law did not state that we can’t arrest him without a warrant,” Mr. Okoroma said in reply to an inquiry by Dino Melaye, a member of the committee, on whether the EFCC had a warrant of arrest before swooping on Mr. Innocent.

The lawmaker was, however, not satisfied with the response of the EFCC official.

“Did you have a warrant of arrest when you went to Enugu to arrest him on 19th of December? Yes or no?”, he questioned again.

But Mr. Okoroma refused to answer the question ‘satisfactorily’, a situation which incurred the anger of the lawmakers who threatened to walk him out for being ‘incompetent to appear before the committee.’

He thereafter asked for more time to make consultation to enable him give a definite answer to the question.

“I won’t be in a position to say whether a warrant of arrest was issued or not but I know the position of law. I will ask for your permission to verify that. I cannot categorically say,” he said.

Legal practitioner, Lekan Alabi, said the anti-graft commission can arrest an individual if such an individual decided to ignore an invitation sent to him to appear or could be on the run.

“EFCC can arrest a suspect without a warrant if they suspect that he is on the run. The normal thing for the commission is to send an invitation letter for the person to come. It is when the person has refused to come, they can swoop on him.

“In some instances, warrant of arrest is necessary. By virtue of provision of Administration of Criminal Justice Act wherein maybe they need to break into a person’s house, they need a warrant of arrest which must be signed by a magistrate so that they can legally move into the house and pick the person up.

“If he (Innocent Chukwuma) is invited and didn’t show up, they can swoop on him.”

Mr. Chukwuma reacting to the claim by EFCC that he was arrested after he ignored their invitation noted that at no time did the commission invite him.

Mr. Okoroma was, however, unable to present copies of letters inviting Mr. Innocent upon request by the senators. “We will make them available,” he said.

Earlier, the EFCC official said the areas that had to do with finances is before the court of law; hence, he would not make any comment.

“There is a process of court. We are a bit hamstrung in going into the details of this matter. There are also several cases even after the submission of petition to this committee. The petitioner also filed suits in court, in effect, he has elected for the court to determine the case.”

Similarly, an Executive Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Haruna Musa, declined to delve into the issue citing avoidance of subjudice as excuse.

“We wish to humbly and respectfully say that EFCC is a law enforcement agency statutorily empowered to discharge its functions. We are therefore not in a position to comment on the allegations made against the EFCC by any person or group of persons pending litigation of this investigation,” the official said.

The committee resolved to invite the parties at another date to continue the probe.

2019: I have no preferred candidates, says Obasanjo

President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has no candidates for political offices in 2019 but prefers to remain an elder statesman with passion for greater Nigeria.

Mr. Obasanjo convened the Coalition for Nigeria Movement as a “third force” or an alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress and opposition Peoples Democratic Party after issuing a press statement last month in which he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of performing below expectation and urged him not to seek re-election so that a younger person can become president in 2019.

But on Wednesday while receiving a youth group from Delta State led by a governorship aspirant, Frank Esanubi on a courtesy visit at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the former president said the coalition will not present candidates at the next general elections.

He said he convened the coalition to galvanise Nigerians to appreciate their interests and power, noting that transitions that had taken place in the country since independence neglected the people at the grassroots.

Mr. Obasanjo explained that his letter to President Buhari was not meant to disrespect the office of the president or embarrass the president but to articulate his views about the situation in the country and offer his candid advice.

He added that his statement was thoroughly thought out and not frivolously issued, stressing that as a former president, he could not hold the office of the president in contempt.

Mr. Obasanjo reiterated that CNM would remain a socio-political movement, stressing that he would cease to be a member if the coalition becomes partisan.

“In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision. Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice, I will gladly do that.

“I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office. I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get different result,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration. So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots. It is a socio-economic movement where youth and women, especially, will be given opportunity to appreciate their interests and power. Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart,” he added.

“If the system and the platform sync, I believe Nigeria will get there. And like I said, the moment the coalition gets involved in candidate sponsoring or participates in partisan politics, I will opt out of it,” Mr. Obasanjo stated.

The leader of the visiting team, Mr. Esanubi said his group’s visit to the former president was to pay homage to him and intimate him on their resolve to heed his clarion call for Nigerians to come together under the CNM for a better Nigeria.

Boko Haram: ‘I am tired of this calamity,’ Shekau says in new video

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has said in a new video that he is tired of the calamity befalling his group.

“I am tired of this calamity; it is better I die and go to rest in paradise”, he said at the end of the 10-minute video.

In the video, delivered chiefly in Hausa, Mr. Shekau couldn’t hide his frustration on the continued hostility and loss of his supporters to government troops.

With a broken voice that clearly betrayed his emotion, Mr. Shekau pleaded with his non-combatant members across Nigeria to pick up arms and help him fight till he drops dead.

The terror group’s leader, however, remained defiant.

Flanked by two hooded armed men, Mr. Shekau said the latest claim by the military that the group had been sent packing from Sambisa forest was false.

He boasted that he is still in Sambisa forest and still controls the territory.

He said that his men would continue to fight regardless of the recent induction of Cameroonian soldiers into the Operation Lafiya Dole counter insurgency force.

Below is the full text of the translated speech by the Boko Haram leader.

“I have no lengthy message to deliver except on the issue of worshiping God alone and serving Him without getting tired. Ours in not like that of the unbelievers whose worship is like the spider web. Just like one of the leaders of unbelievers, who is like an ape, was recently boasting that they have formed a joint force with Cameroonian forces to fight us.

“That they would not only chase us from Sambisa forest but also in all parts of Nigeria. So we too have declared that we do not want to see any Nigerian in Cameroon, in Chad, in Nigeria and even Benin Republic. So I call on our brethren in Abuja, in Lagos, in Benin, in Kaduna, where ever you find any Nigerian make sure you shoot him dead if he is deliberately against us; but if he is ignorant of our ways, teach him on how to understand our ways. This is our first message.

“It is not about approaching you, because that has already been done by our God.

“Our second message is to attack anyone who pledge to Nigerian his country, to be faithful, loyal and honest, and serve Nigeria. Anyone who believes in protecting the interest of Nigeria is our target. The one whose creed is to develop western education where infidels are trained is our enemy. Whoever that stands on any creed other than that of our Prophet Muhammad brought to us; the one that his great disciples followed, should know that he is our avowed enemy and if he confronts us we will fight him.

“In this job that we embarked upon, we are not going to boast too much about, but we pray that God should take our lives while on this struggle and not on any other thing else. May God help us on this belief.

“So you Nigerians especially the youth vigilante, we are going to fight you and that thing that drives you to pick up arms against us; we don’t care what they call you, be it Civilian-JTF or any kind of force. Just as you said you don’t want us on the face of Nigeria, so shall we too declare you persona non grata in Sambisa. Let anyone who has brains to think to avoid moving around Sambisa forest. Those of you the leaders of the troops will no longer have peace just like the way you think you have made here uncomfortable for us.

“And you General Rogers that is currently leading the troops and boasting that that you have take-over Sambisa and have rescued some women, why have you not rescued the police women that we abducted? You liar, why couldn’t you rescue them? You are busy deceiving with images of vehicles that we seized from you and abandoned for over three years and claiming that you have killed us. If you have killed us, why are we still alive?

“Oh you brethren of our holy creed, wherever you are, should rise up and fight for Allah. If you cannot do it there, then come over to our side and fight for the cause of Allah. You must know that whoever that fails to follow the teaching of the Holy Quran and Hadith cannot enter paradise. (In broken voice) Because the pattern of life in the world today is not Islamic. Wherever you are, even if you are in Saudi Arabia, and you have your gun, please stand up and fight, kill whoever you see that is not on our side.

Kidnap and bring them to us. Our course is to establish our caliphate and die doing that.

We may not be alive to see the caliphate but even if it comes to be after we have died, it is still a bonus on our side.

“This is the message I have for you all. My name is Abubakar Shekau, the one that is an invincible enemy that you are fighting.

“That is our stand. I am tired of this calamity; it is better I die and go to rest in paradise.”

No herdsmen attack on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway –Police

The Ogun State Police Command has refuted the alleged attack by herdsmen on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The disputed information had trended on the social media all day on Wednesday.

The Police also asked members of the public to disregard a purported anonymous security alert letter allegedly written by nameless student group urging students and the public not to use the route.

The faceless group was said to have also posted a simulated voice recording on social media in which some people cried and pleaded with their alleged attackers not to kill them.

The police said the picture attached to the post was that of an accident which occurred about eight years ago, precisely on the 31st of July 2010; while the purported voice recording was stage-managed.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Command responded in order to allay the fear of the public and to proffer authentic security situation on the axis.

He said, “There is no attack by herdsmen or any other group in all the stretch of expressways across and within Ogun State.

“We make bold to say that the alleged attack being posted on social media is a lie.

“The picture attached to the post is that of an accident which occurred about eight years ago, exactly on the 31st of July 2010, while the purported voice recording was a stage-managed.”

Oyeyemi said the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was one of the busiest roads in Nigeria, and the Command was not oblivious of that fact, and had always provided adequate security arrangement along that corridor.

He, however, advised that any suspicious movement or gathering should be reported to the police and other sister security agencies, as quickly as possible.

The letter purporting herdsmen attack on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Robbers shoot man, snatch N1.7m in front of bank

Armed robbers attacked a man in front of a bank at Ajibade bus stop on Mokola/Sango road, Ibadan, on Wednesday afternoon as he made his way into the bank.

The victim said the robbers snatched the N1.7m he had on him.

A crowd of sympathisers and onlookers gathered around the victim as he writhed in pain after one of the robbers shot him in both legs.

The victim informed that he had boarded a commercial motorcycle to the place, and that soon after he paid the fare, he was accosted by two men who also came in a motorcycle.

He said they asked him for money, with a threat to shoot him if he refused.

“I thought they were men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad; so, I explained to them that I was not a thief and that I was going to the bank.

“But one of them brought out a gun and when I delayed in handing over the money, he shot me on both legs. So, I gave the money to them,” said the victim.

Our correspondent later gathered that N1.7m was snatched from the victim.

The commercial motorcyclist who brought him to the spot said immediately after he dropped him at the bus stop, he heard two gun shots and suspected that his last passenger could be the victim.

He said, “I brought him here some minutes ago and as soon as he disembarked, I picked another passenger who was going to Sango.

“I had only moved a few meters when I heard two gun shots. I feared that he could be the victim because the sound of the gun was from where I had dropped him.

“On my way back, I saw a crowd and my fear was confirmed when I saw him in the pool of his own blood.”

The commercial motorcyclist said he picked up the robbery victim at Mokola and was suspicious of two men following on a motorcycle just behind them.

“I suspected their riding pattern. The motorcycle they used had Lagos number plate. They followed us closely and at a point, they wanted to overtake us, but they did not.

“When I dropped the passenger at the bus stop, they were also there. I did not know that my passenger had money with him, otherwise, I would have alerted him to the suspicious behaviour of the two men on the bike,” he added.

A team of policemen later arrived at the scene and took the victim to a hospital opposite the bank.

The PUNCH

Zimbabwe uniniversity admits Grace Mugabe’s PhD is fake

University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Sociology has broken its silence concerning the award of a PhD to ex-First Lady Grace Mugabe, saying the qualification was fake and earned without the department’s knowledge or involvement.

The department has since engaged Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights which has written to UZ Vice Chancellor Prof. Levi Nyagura, compelling him to revoke the doctorate degree and nullify it immediately.

The institution is also expected to make a public statement concerning the revocation.

The Sociology Department Board has said the award of the degree constituted “academic corruption and criminal abuse of office” in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Law on the part of anyone implicated in the case.

Grace graduated in 2014, but, in a departure from the norm, the university did not publish her 226-page thesis, entitled “The changing social structure and functions of the family: The case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe.”

The thesis was only published in January under the name Ntombizodwa Grace Marufu.

Prof Nyagura has been given seven days to respond to the issues, failure of which the department would approach the courts of law for appropriate recourse.

“The candidate earned the degree without the knowledge or involvement of the Sociology Department Board, from the application, acceptance, supervision, examination, to the award of the degree.

“The Sociology Department Board has never approved anything in respect of the candidate’s research or thesis.

OLX closes shop in Nigeria

There are indications that OLX, an online marketplace owned by Naspers, has shut down its offices in Nigeria, a move that will affect over 100 of its employees.

It was gathered that the workers were formally informed of the decision on Tuesday through a notice of termination, which will commence in March, and will be followed by the management team in April.

In an emailed response by the Public Relations and Communications Lead, OLX Nigeria, Uche Nwagboso, the company confirmed that it made a decision to consolidate its business operations in Nigeria.

According to her, the company has made provision for financial compensation for the workers that will be affected.

“We made a difficult but important decision in Nigeria to consolidate our operations between some of our offices internationally. Our marketplace will continue to operate here – uninterrupted – as it has since 2010, and we remain committed to the many people here who use our platform to buy and sell every month,” Nwagboso said.

She added, “We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classified platform in the country. Of course, we are committed to helping our affected colleagues during this transition and have already offered them meaningful financial and other support.

“As we’ve expressed to them directly, we are extremely grateful for their many significant contributions to OLX’s success.”

OLX, which launched in Nigeria in 2012, said it had more than three million sellers and buyers registered on its platform in 2015 and reported that items valued at N12.1tn were posted for sale on its website in 2016.

OLX is a classified ad platform that connects people in local communities to buy, sell or exchange used goods and services through their mobile phone or on the web.

OLX operates in 45 countries and has an average of 54 million monthly listings of items for sale on its website.

The e-commerce business is experiencing divestment in Nigeria. Efritin.com closed down in 2015, citing high cost of doing business as reasons for the exit from Nigeria. Konga.com, in which Naspers is a major investor, also sold its business to Zinox Group last week.

Ex-Governor’s son docked for alleged N32m fraud

Federal High Court, Kano, on Wednesday granted bail to Nuriani Adamu, son of former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu, docked for alleged N32 million money laundering.

Justice J. k. Daggard also granted bail to one Felix Onyago, arraigned with Mr. Adama.

Both denied committing the offence, and were granted bail in the sum of N8 million each.

Mr. Daggard ordered that the defendants must produce two sureties each; adding that one of the sureties must be resident in Kano.

He said that the second surety must be a blood relative of the defendants and the blood relative must have a landed property.

The judge ordered that the documents of the property must be deposited with the court.

Mr. Daggard adjourned the case until March 28 for hearing.

The defendants were arraigned on a six-count charge of money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N32 million.

The counsel to the prosecution, Douglas Gift, had earlier told the court that the defendants allegedly conspired to commit the offence on December 23, 2014.

Mr. Gift said that on the same date, Mr. Adamu allegedly transferred N32 million on several occasions to Onyago’s bank account in Kano.

He said that the offence violated Section 18(a) and 15, 2 (b) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

(NAN)

Two police officers dismissed for alleged involvement in cultism

Two police officers have been dismissed in Akwa Ibom State for their alleged involvement in cultism.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, disclosed this on Tuesday during a visit to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, and the leadership of the House.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi said the two officers were currently facing trial.

He did not, however, give out the identity or the rank of the dismissed officers.

The police chief told the speaker that over 60 suspected cultists have been arrested recently in the state, with 17 of them charged to court, while others were still being investigated.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi, who said he was in the Assembly to seek collaboration and support from the legislature towards crime-fighting, told Mr. Luke that the police in the state did not have adequate operational vehicles.

He appealed to the state lawmakers to desist from the practice of covering the license plate number of their vehicles to enable the police track down culprits whenever a crime is committed.

The speaker, Mr. Luke, assured the police chief of the lawmakers’ readiness to partner and support the police.

“I want to give you our commitment that we are ready to work for the peace, order, and security of lives and property in Akwa Ibom State,” Mr. Luke said.

“Let the long arm of the law takes its course, anyone caught involving in cultism should not be spared.”

Mr. Luke, who expressed the lawmakers’ readiness to review the state’s anti-cultism law, requested the police commissioner to forward a memo to the House on the areas of the law that he thought should be reviewed.

Akwa Ibom state has been bedeviled of late with cult-related killings and violence.

Secondus says Buhari is practising ‘nuclear nepotism’

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is practising “nuclear nepotism”.

Secondus alleged that for one to be given an appointment at federal level, the person must be a native of Daura, the president’s hometown in Katsina state.

He said the outcome of the All Progressives Congress (APC) 32 months in power is not what Nigerians bargained.

Secondus said the APC has left the presidential villa spiritually but would move out physically in 2019.

He also said Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode, adding that only the PDP could save it.

Secondus spoke when he led members of the PDP national working committee (NWC) to the party’s caucus at national assembly “to rub minds and see how we can save this country.”

“I have come with members of the NWC of our party to thank you for the mandate you gave us at the successful National Convention last year and to charge you to redouble your efforts for the eventual humiliation of APC in 2019,” Ike Abonyi, Secondus’ spokesman, quoted the PDP chairman as saying.

“People are being killed on daily basis, nuclear nepotism is in vogue, you have to come from Daura to be appointed into a federal position.

“Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode, only the PDP can save it.

“This is the time for all to stand up to save this country and all eyes are on PDP to lead the way, I am ready and determined even to be arrested for us to regain our liberty in this land.

“What we have ruling Nigeria today at the villa is a broken party and a broken government, spiritually APC has already left the villa, what we must fine tune is the physical accomplishment.”

Reps ask Buhari to replace IGP with a ‘more professional officer’

The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP).

The lawmakers made the call during plenary on Wednesday.

They passed a vote of no confidence on the IGP, after various complaints from the lawmakers on the failings of the police chief.

They, therefore, asked Buhari to remove the IGP and replace him with “a more professional police officer”.

While raising the motion, Danburam Nuhu, from Kano state, drew the attention of the lawmakers to the “complicity” of the Nigeria police in the high rate of thuggery in Kano.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a senator from Kano state, has been having a running battle with the state governor.

The police in the state have been fingered in the matter.

Nuhu described as “unfortunate” the rising cases of thuggery in the state, saying it is sponsored by some politicians.

“In fact, the recent thuggery experience in Kano was championed by q current high ranking member of the hallow chamber,” he said

“We must use all legislative instruments available to this house to discourage it in the strongest terms and curb thus barbaric act of terror.”

In the course of the deliberations, some of the lawmakers faulted the police for its “failure” to address the situation in Kano.

Nkem Abonta from Abia state said it is “very undemocratic” for the police who are supposed to be protecting the citizens to now be the ones going against the law.

“The third force (which former President Olusegun Obasanjo) was talking about could be the police force, going by the way they are operating,” he added.

“Before now, we had a decent society where there is respect for the constitution but now, everything has changed.”

On his part, John Dyegh, from Benue state, also faulted the police on the issue as well as their “unwillingness” to tackle similar challenges in the country.

He said following the killings in Benue state, intelligence reports had it that the alleged killers were camped in a local government area in Nasarrawa state “and a whole IGP claimed he was ignorant of such.”

“The intelligence reports from security agencies across the country were clear that these killers were still there. The IGP later went and said there was no such thing,” he added.

“It is obvious the IGP is incapable of his job. So I am amending the prayers to be that the president should replace the IGP with a more professional police officer.”

The lawmakers subsequently adopted the amendment.

 

Tobacco, alcohol prices to rise as FG considers tariff review

 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun is proposing increased tariff for tobacco and alcohol.

Her proposal is in line with the implementation of the ECOWAS common external tariff (CET), one of the instruments of harmonising member states to strengthen its common market agreed upon on October 25, 2014.

In a memo sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Adeosun suggested that a two-part tariff be approved for tobacco products.

A two-part imposes two types of import levies on the same item.

Adeosun suggested a 20 percent “ad valorem” tariff and a specific tariff of N1 per stick be placed on be placed on cigarettes and tobacco products.

She also suggested that a specific tariff of 35 kobo per CL be placed on beer and stout, N1.50k per CL on wines, and N2 on spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

Ad valorem tariff is levied as a fixed percentage of the value of a commodity.

According to the minister, this was a recommendation made by the tariff technical committee (TTC), which is chaired by the ministry of finance with members from ministries of industry, agriculture, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Office of the Secretary to the Government and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

“Further to the request, the chief of staff to Mr President requested for my views on the matter. As a result of this, the TTC deliberated on the subject and recommended for an upward review of excise rate on tobacco and alcohol, taking into consideration their health implications and revenue potentials,” she wrote.

“In addition, it also recommended the introduction of a specific frate of excise on alcohol including beers and a mixture of ad valorem and specific rate excise structure on tobacco products in ECOWAS member states.

“In line with the recommendations of the TTC, I wrote and requested Your Excellency’s consideration and approval for the proposed revised rates of excise on alcohol and tobacco, vide letters: FMF/OHMF/TA/1/2017, dated 3oth October, 2017 and FMF/PHMF/ALCOHOL/1/2017, dated 8th November, 2017.”

In November, Adeosun told the ECOWAS financial council of ministers that the federal government was working on policies to increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation called for increased taxes on tobacco products to discourage its use.

Nigerians smoke about 20 billion sticks of cigarette years, according to Isaac Adewole, minister of health.

Nigeria is also said to be the highest alcohol-drinking country in the world.

JUST IN: Passengers panic as door falls off Dana Air plane

Some passengers of Nigerian air carrier, Dana Airline, expressed fear when the door of an aircraft belonging to the airline fell off upon landing.

One of the passengers on the flight, Dapo Sanwo, said the door panel was loose all through the flight,a situation he described as an indication of “lack of maintenance.”

Another passenger, Ola Brown, who took to his twitter page to vent his frustration, said the experience was scary.

Mr. Brown narrated that the exit door of the aircraft was unstable all through the flight, adding that it fell off as soon as the aircraft landed.

“Flew Dana. Exit door was unstable throughout flight. As we touched down, it fell off. Scary stuff,” he wrote on twitter.

“I was closer to the front so when I heard the sound, (I) thought it was an explosion. (I) couldn’t quite comprehend that it (the door) had just fallen off.”

Details of the incident and its causes were not immediately clear.

When contacted on Wednesday morning , the corporate communication desk of Dana Air said it would need to be briefed by its engineers before reacting to the development.

“We need to also get the engineers to give their report,” a staff of the airline’s corporate communications department said..

How I stopped Kingibe, Abba Kyari, Rufai Abubakar from stealing $44m ĺ- Former Acting D-G, NIA

Immediate past Acting Director-General (D-G) of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Mohammed Dauda, has disclosed that he fought off attempts by Messrs. Babagana Kingibe, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and his protégé and incumbent D-G of the NIA, Mr. Rufai Abubakar and Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff to steal $44million NIA intervention fund.

The disclosure was made in a brief to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence.

In the brief, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Mr. Dauda said he assumed office as Acting D-G on November 6 2017, following a brief meeting with Mr. Kyari at the Presidential Villa. The Chief of Staff, he said, conveyed the President’s directive to him that he should function in an acting capacity while waiting for further directives.

On leaving the Presidential Villa, Mr. Dauda said he headed straight to have a meeting with Mr. Arab Yadam who was D-G in an acting capacity but was retiring. The meeting, he said, dwelt on what the retiring Acting D-G did in the seven months during which he ran the agency.   The briefing, said Mr. Dauda, comprised his administrative, operational and technical duties, all of which were highly confidential. Mr. Yadam also gave his successor the picture of the agency’s financial position, which included $44million he informed was part of the intervention fund that brought the Ikoyi apartment cash scandal.

After the briefing, Mr. Yadam introduced Mr. Dauda to Brigadier-General Mohammed Ja’afaru, the Acting Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) who briefed him on the nature of the agency’s assignments. Among these are the daily operations of the accounts for both domestic and foreign management. The Acting DFA also told Mr. Dauda that the $44million in his custody, which was not part of the agency’s budgetary allocation, should not be touched because it had become an exhibit in an ongoing case. The purpose of the disclosure, Mr. Dauda said, was for his information.

Not long after Mr. Dauda assumed office, the Presidential Review Panel (PRP) headed by Mr. Kingibe started its assignment within NIA.

The agency provided the members of the panel with office space, accommodation, food and other logistics. Aside from Mr. Kingibe, other members include Mr. Albert K. Horsfall, a former D-G of the State Security Service; Mr. Olaniyi Oladeji, Mr. ZY Ibrahim both former DGs of the NIA and the current DG of NIA, Mr. Abubakar, who was PRP Secretary.

After the maiden meeting with the panel, said Mr. Dauda, Mr. Kingibe called him to advise that in his own interest, he should cooperate with them fully and avoid being close with Buhari’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Mr. Kingibe also disclosed that they had presidential powers to overrule previous instructions or directives issued by the NSA.

“I was instructed to channel all our activities, contacts, concerns and complaints through the Office of the Chief of Staff Abba Kyari only,” said Mr. Dauda.

He said the instructions left him in discomfort, as they contradict all the provisions of the agency’s instruments. Not wanting to start on a confrontational note, he kept away from the NSA as instructed.

According to him, things went on smoothly untilKingibe and Abubakar kept pressuring him for money. Mr. Dauda said he explained that the agency’s dollar account was low because of the difficulty in sourcing dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria following the crises that arose from the Ikoyi money scandal. However, the replied that the $44m in the custody of the Acting DFA belongs to the agency and that the DFA had no power to stop Mr. Dauda from spending the money. They added that since the crisis had blown over, Mr. Dauda should go and tell Brigadier-General Jafa’aru to return to his job in the army. He was advised to write to the National Security Adviser to withdraw him or ask the NIA security department to stop him from entering the premises of the agency.

Mr. Dauda said the pressure was huge, but he felt if Brigadier-General Jafa’aru left, he might not be able to resist further pressure from the desperate Kingibe led gang.

“They kept insisting that they had the mandate of the President and that the President had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to hands off the money and that it was legitimately ours. They verbally queried me on the logic of keeping the money as an exhibit since there was no case pending in court. Ambassador Kingibe told me that he was the one who, through the Chief of Staff drafted the memo that the President assented to, instructing the EFCC to hands off our case (Ikoyi cash . scandal) just to convince me that there are no more encumbrances on the money,” stated Mr. Dauda.

Still, no dice. He claimed that Kingibe and others kept pressuring and threatening that if he did not get rid of the Brigadier-General, he would have regrets. Mr. Dauda said he had no reason to get the man out and he actually enjoyed working with him. His refusal to do as they wished, he said, this prompted Messrs. Kingibe and Abubakar to tell him at a meeting that he was refusing presidential orders to bar the Brigadier-General from the NIA premises. They warned him that there might be consequences if he remained adamant.

At one of the meetings, explained Mr. Dauda, Mr. Horsfall advised him to ignore any suggestion that could cause confrontation between him and the NSA and advised his colleagues on the panel to put it as part of their recommendations to the President since they had his mandate, so he could order the NSA to remove the Acting DFA from the NSA.

The pressure on him for money, the former Acting D-G said, intensified.

“They wanted money for medical treatment or holidays abroad for their families and girlfriends. I met and gave a lady Ambassador Kingibe simply introduced to me as “Angela”  money twice at the car park of the Hilton Hotel. Once $50,000 and the second time $20,000, which apparently did not impress him. Even the current DG NIA once called me on WhatsApp, just like Amb. Kingibe always does and said that his Oga was traveling to London for medical check-up and he suggested that I should find something for him as a sign of good will. So, I reluctantly gave him $50,000 against my will, a decision that made me sad throughout the day,” he said. He added that Mr. Kingibe collected over $200,000 from him during the time he headed the PRP. Mr. Dauda said he was always using the President’s name to squeeze cash out of the NIA. They also undermined the Office of the National Security Adviser.

On December 20 2017, said the former Acting DG, Mr. Kingibe asked the current DG NIA to tell him to meet them at home located at 59 Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja. He was asked to come alone. At the meeting, he was told of his refusal to cooperate with them and they had brought him there to warn that the Acting DFA was conspiring with some people to steal the $44million in their safe. He was warned that he would be held liable if he did not stop their plan.

“They told me that their Committee had completed their assignment and that their recommendations were so generous to the DG NIA. They said they recommended the appointment of two Deputy Directors-General and watered down their powers enough so that they will not be in a position to pose any threat to him as the DG,” wrote Mr. Dauda.

They then suggested that it was his turn to do something in return as he was likely to get the President’s nod as the substantive DG only if he could immediately make $2million available.

“I told them it was not going to be possible as the only money available was the $44million and I didn’t know how to approach the Acting DFA. They also told me at the meeting that if I can’t  sack the DFA, they would send someone to do it soon. That was my last communication with them until I heard of my removal from office on Wednesday 11 January on Channels Television around 8 pm,’ said Mr. Dauda.

The next day, he advised the NSA to look at the possibility of evacuating the money from the NIA, an advice the NSA heeded. The money was moved and taken to the Office of the NSA.

Later that night, Mr. Dauda said he received a call from the Mr. Abubakar, who requested for a meeting with him and the staff who worked with him at 10pm. Mr. Abubakar said the meeting was ordered by Mr. Kyari. The meeting was eventually moved to the next day after Mr. Dauda protested that it was too late. At the meeting the next day, an enraged Mr. Abubakar said the Presidency blamed him for not taking over immediately thereby giving room for the money to be taken away and warned that Mr. Dauda would be held responsible.

When he finished, Mr. Dauda said he told him no money was missing and that he approved the transfer so the money could be safe.

“I told him that if there was no ulterior motive, the apprehension was unfounded. I also warned him to mind his language as I have always been his senior in this service,” Mr. Dauda stated.

He equally stated that his life is being threatened by the Kingibe gang and requested immediate protection for him and his family. Mr. Abubakar, he said, has already shown his hand with a letter requesting Mr. Dauda to return official vehicles in his possession. He has also received another letter restricting his movement on the claim that the agency was investigating leakage of sensitive information.

“These are acts meant to cow and intimidate me into submission and there are also attempts to bundle me out of my official quarters through extra-legal means and also to withdraw my security details, thereby impacting my security,” he said.

He called on the House Committee not to allow the Kingibe gang to subvert the rule of law by bullying him into submission.